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Department of Computer Science and Technology

The Department's Women@CL network - which exists to support female and non-binary computer science students here - is 20 years old! To celebrate this milestone, we held a special anniversary event on Wednesday 20th March 2024.

Women@CL runs events and activities to help female and non-binary computer scientists in their careers and encourage them to aspire to leadership positions. 

Since it was founded by Professor Mateja Jamnik and Professor Ursula Martin CBE in 2003, it has helped create a strong and supportive community for its members and offered financial help to some who would otherwise struggle to study here.

This year, to celebrate its 20th birthday, we invited former and current members and distinguished guests to join us for a series of talks and panel sessions, informal knowledge exchange and social networking with some of computer science's brightest female minds.

Speakers shared their personal experiences and journeys as women working in computer science and debated the hot topics currently facing women in STEM subjects.

  • The opening talk was given by Mateja Jamnik (Professor of Artificial Intelligence here) and Professor Ursula Martin CBE FREng (Mathematics BA from Cambridge University; Professor Emerita at the University of Edinburgh and Emeritus Fellow, Wadham College Oxford). They discussed 'Women@CL, how it all began and the impact it has made'.
  • The topic then turned to 'Data, ArtificiaI Intelligence and Interaction: Explorations in Healthcare' with a talk from Professor Ann Blandford (Mathematics BA from Cambridge University; Professor of Human–Computer Interaction in the Department of Computer Science, UCL).
  • Professor Philippa Gardner (former EPSRC Advanced Fellowship in this Department; Professor in the Department of Computing, Imperial College London) discussed 'Verified Software at Scale'.
  • Next to speak was Professor Niki Trigoni FREng (Computer Science PhD from Cambridge University; Professor of Computer Science, University of Oxford). She talked on 'Cyber Physical Systems for Emergency Response Applications'. 
  • The talks concluded with a panel session, moderated by Prof Jamnik, on 'Breaking Barriers: Redefining Success and Leadership in Computer Science'. Panel members included Professor Caroline Jay (Professor of Computer Science and Head of Research in the School of Engineering, University of Manchester), Professor Dame Muffy Calder (Vice Principal & Head of College of Science & Engineering, University of Glasgow and Professor Jean Bacon (the first woman to take up an academic position in this Department; Emeritus Professor of Distributed Systems here and Emeritus Fellow and Director of Studies, Jesus College Cambridge).

The event concluded with a drinks reception and dinner at Queens' College for Women@CL members and guests.

It proved extremely popular with participants. One attendee remarked, "It was a wonderful event. I very much enjoyed the talks and had many interesting conversations." Another added, "Thank you so much for inviting me.  The talks were fabulous and I so enjoyed seeing everyone."

And we'll leave the last word with one speaker who concluded: "This was just a great meeting, thank you all. I actually felt part of a thriving – if a little small – community and that was a lovely experience."

Published by Rachel Gardner on Wednesday 27th March 2024